Anniversary of Death: Albert John Raab, 1920-2000


Today is the 19th anniversary of Dad’s death. This poem is from an experience of visiting the graves of Mom and Dad last June. 


The Clearing

I drove a rental car into the familiar cemetery

Rain and memory gently smearing the windshield


The curved maple that shaded the graves of

Mom and Dad had been cut down

Even the stump pulled from the dark Indiana soil


That old tree like an adopted sibling

Protected them from bitter winds and summer drought

Bending toward their memory with each visit

Revealing spring buds and a sparrow’s birth


The branches stood my stead

That sheltered my parents

As I become my past

The roots deep and sure


An unexpected emptiness in the clearing filled me

Sawdust illusions swept away

Leaving this child’s vulnerability on spring grass

Still a son of genuine loss

And love under raindrops





5 thoughts on “Anniversary of Death: Albert John Raab, 1920-2000

  1. oh, the shock of seeing that empty spot where the tree “stood in your stead”–compounding the sense of loss–tearing open the thinly scarred place where grief had been tucked away—Why in the world? Who would do that?
    Find it in your memory and hold onto that–leaf rustle and birdsong, sheltering shade–and find peace, my friend. A

  2. the poem grants a peaceful reflection of “love under raindrops”. Thanking God for “roots deep and sure” and looking forward to the time of reunion when we too will transition to fields of perpetual spring grass with uncut trees. . glorious

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